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Gallery interventions: design commission

£10,000 (exc VAT)
Contract To be completed Friday 9 July 2021


People’s History Museum (PHM) is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.

PHM is currently exploring the theme of migration through a programme of exhibitions, events, activities and discussions.  The approach to the theme was developed in response to a series of public consultations which took place in early 2019.  The programme has been co-created with a Community Programme Team made up of people whose lives have been shaped by migration, who have been working with the museum since summer 2019.

The project

In response to the consultation, PHM has chosen to move away from its traditional approach of a single, large scale temporary exhibition, to an adventurous project focusing on challenging the migration narratives in its main galleries and finding new ways of highlighting the stories of migration across the 200 years of history they tell.  The Community Programme Team are leading on developing the ideas and undertaking research for this project.  They are now looking for a number of artists and designers to work with to realise their ideas.

The result of this project will be a series of gallery interventions installed throughout the museum’s main galleries which interrupt the usual visitor experience.  Visitors will be taken on a journey following several different stories exploring the contributions of migrants in Britain and the differing reasons why people migrate, presented through a series of installations and animations.  These will be displayed in the museum’s main galleries from summer 2021.

The key objectives of the project are to:

  1. Work with communities to highlight and promote the diverse and multicultural history of Britain while reflecting on cross cutting factors such as colonisation, slavery, the Industrial Revolution, the arms trade, climate change etc, and the role these factors play in past and present migration movements
  2. Work with communities to explore and highlight the experiences of recent migrants and the impact of hostile environment policies. We will use this learning to support grassroots action to counter these policies and alleviate their consequences
  3. Act as a centre for thought provoking and bold conversations around issues including racism, classism, the rise of the far right, xenophobia and Brexit
  4. Utilise radical approaches to community led programming and cultural democracy


The project has been made possible through funding from Art Fund and Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

What we are looking for

PHM is looking for a designer or design studio with experience of working on community led projects to work with the Community Programme Team to develop a unifying design concept which brings together all elements of the project, as well as the associated design and production of the gallery intervention interpretation and four Family Friendly gallery trail resources.

The project outcomes will include:

  • a commissioned installation
  • a commissioned banner
  • a commissioned series of four animations
  • a historical timeline (produced by the Community Programme Team)
  • our Family Friendly gallery trail resources (produced by the Community Programme Team)


Find out more about the commission opportunities for the other elements of the project.  Details of the commissions along with content for the historical timeline and trail resources will be shared as they are developed.

The designer will work closely with the Community Programme Team and PHM staff in two to three workshops, to develop a design concept that will appeal to and can be accessed by a wide audience, including families.

We are interested in working with designers on creative methods of displaying interpretation, including concepts with interactive approaches to visitor engagement.  These may extend beyond the main galleries to wider PHM spaces including the shop, cafe, communal areas and online.


A design concept that will be used across the museum unifying the project where each element is installed.  This will include:

  • Creation of a colour palette (with Pantone references)
  • Fonts to be used in headings, subheadings and main body text. These should be accessible for all


We anticipate the design concept will be used for the following elements of the project:

  • Freestanding, interactive interpretation introducing the project on the ground floor of the museum with space to pick up the Family Friendly trail resource
  • Signposting/wayfinding to the different elements of project including the Battle for the Ballot, new timeline and in the main galleries
  • Four separate Family Friendly trail resources which will take visitors on a journey throughout the main galleries, bringing together the separate components of the project
  • Graphic for the Battle for the Ballot mind map with accompanying interpretation
  • Full wall graphic timeline with space for visitors to interact and/or leave their stories
  • Interactive interpretation points for trail (anticipating 6-8 per trail, max 32 in total) which could be a mixture of labels/panels or creative interpretation for example using objects
  • Interpretation for other commissioned elements of project including a series of four animations and a banner which will be installed in the main galleries


The designer or design studio will be responsible for production of the design concept relating to the project elements outlined above.


There is a maximum budget of £10,000 (exclusive of VAT) available for the delivery of this element of the project including design fees, production costs and expenses. We anticipate this will be split design fee: £5,000 / production fee: £5000. We are open to designers managing this budget if they can deliver production for less.

Intellectual property rights

  • PHM will require EITHER a perpetual assignment (or transfer) of copyright OR a perpetual exclusive licence to use the design including digital copies specifically for PHM’s purposes
  • If copyright is assigned to PHM, a royalty-free, non-exclusive license will be granted to the supplier for demonstration purposes for clients/portfolio
  • The supplier will be responsible for rights clearance of all content used that is owned by third parties, including documenting and recording these permissions in line with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and supplying this information to PHM
  • PHM will be responsible for clearing copyright of content supplied from its collection


Interview / selection process

Reflective of the community led nature of this project, the Community Programme Team will be deeply involved in both the shortlisting of expressions of interest and the interview sessions for this commission, with support from PHM staff.

Key dates / schedule for tender

  • Expressions of interest returned by email to on Sunday 11 April 2021
  • Shortlisting and shortlisted designers notified: w/c Monday 12 April 2021
  • Shortlisted designers invited to interview by a small panel most likely using digital platform Zoom: Friday 16 April 2021 
  • Successful designer works with Community Programme Team on developing the design concept: April 2021 – end June 2021
  • Delivery date for design concept and production of it: Friday 9 July 2021


The deadlines outlined above are subject to change due to the ongoing uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The project timeline may need to be adapted and we may require some flexibility to work beyond these dates.

We are aiming to share the outcomes of this project in summer 2021 but we will look at creative ways to do this digitally if the museum remains closed and physical installation is not possible.

Expression of interest

If you would like to submit an expression of interest please return a PDF with the following information to PHM Programme Officer Zofia Kufeldt by email to by 5.00pm on Sunday 11 April 2021:

  • Full contact details
  • Relevant examples from your portfolio
  • A statement outlining your understanding of the brief and why you want to work on this project
  • A propose timeline of development and delivery planned to meet the brief by the deadlines outlined above
  • A rough breakdown of how the budget will be used


If you have any queries or would like to discuss this further, please contact Zofia Kufeldt by email at

As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons.  We would particularly welcome applications from people who have lived experience of migration and those who are under-represented in the arts and culture sector.

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